Rainbow Media Group's MuchMusic USA network is trading up for a new name, fresh
branding and a Manhattan streetside studio.
MuchMusic will become Fuse May 19, when Rainbow will also take the
wrappers off Fuse's new $12 million Midtown Manhattan studio.
Fuse will still target the same 12- through 34-year-old viewers as MuchMusic
But, like when Rainbow relaunched Romance Classics as the
slightly hipper, younger WE: Women's Entertainment, "We saw an opportunity to
energize [the network] and take it to a different place," president and CEO Josh Sapan said.
Rainbow has been plotting the relaunch since it gained full control of the channel
about a year-and-a-half ago.
MuchMusic USA was originally an Americanized version of Canadian channel
Still, like MuchMusic USA, Fuse is trying to position itself as the
anti-Viacom Inc. music channel.
"The need for an alternate voice is greater than ever," Fuse president
Mark Juris said. "We're an independent alternative music network created for and
driven by viewers."
Viacom owns MTV: Music Television, VH1, Black Entertainment Television and Country Music Television, along with a batch of digital music networks.
Fuse's new look features scores of different logos and a slew of different
The network is also creating a complementary video-on-demand service that
will offer music videos from various genres.